I tend to write about Trenton when I'm pissed off, and today is no exception. All of the backyard kittens born earlier this month have died. We don't need anymore feral cats, but still, I did not sign up for this, and it makes me tremendously sad. I've been listening to my brand new neighbors across the street scream — really SCREAM — at each other, "Fuck YOU" (dramatic pause) "BITCH." And, "No. FUCK YOU!" (even more dramatic pause) "BITCH." Maybe there's something wrong with me, because in the off-chance I get into an argument, I am inclined to hiss my venomous, but not terribly expletive, words in relatively quiet tones, because I don't want everyone — oh, wait, anyone — to know my business. I am doing it wrong apparently, since nothing counts in Trenton unless there's an audience.
And, of course, I'm still bummed about about the election, and that the only clear winner is the guy who's been in office for all of 6 months. I've been considering all of the candidates who will be in runoff election, and almost all of the potential outcomes are very unsavory, if not downright unpalatable. But I am, despite my persona here, an optimist, so I'm forcing myself to keep an open mind. Perhaps, despite the dubious financial contributors, and at least one candidate's inability to pay his taxes, and the flip-flopping (in such a short span!!) on whether or not it's a good idea to sell the suburban water pipes (Trenton's only revenue-generating asset!!), and, as small-minded and idiotic this sounds, some really terrible names some of the candidates have*, maybe our newly elected officials will be able to do some good for the city when they take office. Many good citizens, after all, have had a contentious relationship with the outgoing council and administration (can you say "Paul Pintella?" Can you say, "Annette Lartigue?"**), and I hope that will change, since we all ultimately want the same thing: a better, and dare I say it, happenin' Trenton.
So, I have a request for all of the candidates, and any of the city employees who stay on through this transition, namely the police and inspectors. Those of us who want a better Trenton are few, but we're good, reasonable people. I estimate that out of our near 80,000 Trenton residents, there might only be 20,000 (at the most) engaged, decent citizens, which is a small group. We may not always agree on philosophy, and details, but our band of 20,000 wants the same thing. It's a small group, in a municipal sense, and it should be friggin' easy for council and the administration and other employees, to work well with us. So, please, candidates, help us achieve a better Trenton. If we have a complaint about drug dealers, or ATVs, or the shitty roads, or the vacant house next door, or prostitutes, or dogfighting, or poor lighting, or whatever, sheesh, just help us out. 80,000 of us do not attend council meetings, or show up in the mayor's office, or make complaints, or write letters, or pen blogs. It's only a few of us. You really do have it easy. So just help us make things right the first time we call or write or whatever; and chances are we'll bitch less. I think you owe it to us for taking part in democracy in Trenton. Maybe that sounds like favoritism? It's not. It's just treating the decent people decently, instead of fostering a failed state, by allowing the criminals and sociopaths to continue to operate with impunity. Treat the good people right, new council people, and the whole city will improve for those efforts, I'm sure.
* I don't have a problem when people include their middle initials with their names; or in some cases, if they go by their middle name, and include their first initial. My father has that kind of naming convention: C. Michael Ott. His father was also Charles, and his parents decided to call him by his middle name. But it's a pet peeve of mine when people opt to use the formality of including said initial, whether it's for their first or middle name, but the name they go by is a nickname. For example, T. Missy Balmir. I'm sorry, T. Missy, even if it didn't concern me that a lot of your campaign financing came from far-flung places like Newark and Washington, DC (why is that? No one I know outside Trenton gives a shit about what happens here), the formal initial with the informal name has sent me into an OCD fugue. I realize that people who have this sort of unfortunate predicament didn't do it to themselves; their parents did. All I can say is, if this happened to you, drop the initial, and just go by Missy, or Joey, or Petey, or Ronnie, or Betsy, or whatever your name is. Please.
** Whenever I'm stressed about the future of the city, I force myself to think about these two condescending, ineffective, grandstanding PUPPETS who performed so poorly on election day, coming in, essentially, in the last two places, since, in my opinion, Keith Hamilton, Alexander Brown, and Shahid bin Whereishenow never had a chance, and should have never wasted their time or money in this campaign. The future is scary, but it will not include Paulie "PowerPoint" Pintella or Annette "Stand Down" Lartigue in any sort of legislative capacity, and that provides enormous satisfaction and comfort right now. Bye guys!